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(22 pages)
Writer: Alan Moore
Artist(s): Steve Bissete, Ron Randall, John Totleben
Colorist: Tatjana Wood
Letterer: John Costanza
Editor: Karen Berger
Swamp Thing Created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson

Cover: Steve Bissette and John Totleben (signed)


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In addition to a subplot crossover with Neil Gaiman's SANDMAN series, the original printing of this issue contains a full-page ad introducing SANDMAN.

1:3 The extreme close-up of the eyes resembles the close-up in SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING #21 2:1

1:6 Both of these men are new characters.

2:1 Clive Barker is a British horror writer, who was just starting to become popular in the United States at that time. Moore has often been compared to him. Many people know him as the creator of the film Hellraiser. The Books of Blood is a collection of some of Barker's terrifying short stories

2-3:4 The sound effect "Snikt" is a well-known sound used whenever the enormously popular Marvel Comics' character Wolverine (of the X-MEN) extends his claws.

2-3:10 Note the sound effect "Wein", as in Len Wein, creator of ST.

6:1 Who can identify the paintings on the walls?

7:1 Steve Dayton, "the fifth richest man in the world", was a member of the superhero team the DOOM PATROL. Calling himself Mento, he utilized a special helmet which amplified his mental energy in the form of telekinetic bolts and such. He married teammate Rita Farr, a.k.a. Elasti-Girl (who was killed by enemies of the original team) and is adoptive father to Gar Logan, a.k.a. Changeling of the NEW TEEN TITANS.
Constantine appeared with him in the CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS mini-series issue #4 (by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez) in the month that ST issue #38 was originally published (pictured at left) and he plays an important role in ST #50.

I don't know if "Blue Flame" is a real liquor, but drinking alcohol does burn blue. Dayton had a drinking problem.

7:3 The weird weather is a plot element from DC comics' CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS maxi-series.

8:1 John refers to the a scene near the end of the film "2001: A Space Odyssey", which featured an extended sequence of psychedelic swirling lights. Watch here.

8:4 Why is Batman, "world's greatest detective", having trouble remembering? Possibly due to the reality-warping effects of the Crisis? Batman is no stranger to ST, having met him in ST (1st series) #7, and BRAVE AND THE BOLD #122 and #176.

9:1 Link from 8:6 "who you're going to run into"/"you an' me met up"
Since the artist Bissette lives in Vermont, I'm guessing that the hat refers to the Pioneer House restaurant at 1 Avon Rd., Chester Depot, Vermont.

10:2 Is there really such a brand as "Muskie's" monofilament line?

13:2 That's the Bogeyman's view of his own foot in a puddle.

13:2 Highway 165 really does run through Alexandria, LA. You can see this map at this link, showing where US71 meets I-220 in Shreveport, southwest of the Bodcau State Wildlife Management Area.

13:6 These are the same eyes of victim 165 which we saw on 11:6.

14:2 The Bogeyman pulls the worm in half, further exemplifying his sadism. This panel resembles 10:2, where he stretched out the wire.


Richard Speck: Convicted for the 1966 murders of nine women in one house. Suspected of the murders of 5 other women that year. He died in jail.
Charles Manson: Career criminal who started a cult , "The Manson Family", based on a ranch near San Francisco. In the late 1969, he ordered members to kill several people whom he felt hindered his quest for show business fame. He remains in jail.
"Son of Sam" (David Berkowitz): Terrorized NYC in the summer 1976 with a string of 13 random street shootings. Finally caught in 1977, he was sentenced to 365 years in jail. He said that a dog told him to commit the murders.

15:3 Cajuns are descendents of French Canadians who live in the Louisiana bayous in self-contained communities. They speak their own language, derived from French, and are known for their unique cooking recipes.

18:4 The Bogeyman's ring is missing. We last saw it in 15:1. Is this the artist's oversight?

19:6 "Put a foot wrong"/stumbling into quicksand

21:4 The ancient druids studied the entrails of dead animals for signs of future events. Constantine consults a practitioner of this in ST #72.

21:5 A spider-web is a "pattern", as mentioned in 21:4

21:1 Link to 22:1 "in the dark"/Abby in a dark room
The painting above Abby's bed is Fuseli's "Nightmare", first glimpsed in issue #33, page 20. It appears agian in issue #52.

22:6 This is Constantine of course.

Comments: The serial killer in this story is mentioned and impersonated in Neil Gaiman's SANDMAN #14 in the storyline "The Doll's House". Gaiman's story explores the concept of serial killers, how their minds work and the convention meetings they have together in much greater detail. Gaiman even uses the idea of showing a killer's point of view and not his face in SANDMAN #10. This is one of the most obvious examples of Moore's influence on Gaiman's writing.

Paul Mark Evens pointed out to me that the anonymity of the killer is also significant because "works of fiction about serial killers must be careful not to glorify them. Serial killers want their names to be known."

COMMENT: In 2001, DC Comics collected/reprinted issues 43-50 in a trade book titled "Swamp Thing: A Murder of Crows"

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